This itinerary is all about flowers! In just five days, you will cycle through Dutch tulip fields on an e-bike, learn how tulips are grown, and see how they're sold at auction and at floating flower markets. View magnificent tulips on display at the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens, the largest flower park in the world, and learn all about the rich history of tulips and their value in Dutch culture at the Tulip Museum. The best time to plan this trip is March through May, with the tulips at their best in mid-April.

Highlights

  • Visit the largest tulip garden in the world
  • Explore Amsterdam from the water on a private canal cruise
  • Cycle through tulip fields
  • Experience a fast-paced flower auction

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Amsterdam Arrival and Flower Market Amsterdam
Day 2 Explore the Netherlands' "Flower Bulb Region" Uithoorn
Day 3 See a Live Flower Auction and Cycle Through Flower Fields Noordwijk
Day 4 Relax During a Beach Day in Noordwijk Noordwijk
Day 5 Finish the Trip in Amsterdam  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam and Visit a Floating Flower Market

Colorful tulips for sale

Welcome to the Dutch Lowlands! After arriving at the airport in Amsterdam, you'll transfer to your hotel. It's located in the city center, a picturesque labyrinth of canals and small streets dotted with old houses and buildings. The center of Amsterdam is fairly small, so most points of interest are easily reached on foot or by bike. For longer distances, you can take public transport or a taxi. 

Later in the day, kick off your exploration of Dutch flower culture with a private cruise through Amsterdam's canals. From the canal closest to your hotel, you will be picked up in a private boat. Viewing the city from the canals is a great way to see Amsterdam from an unforgettable perspective.

After about two hours, the boat will drop you off along the Singel Canal, home to a colorful floating flower market. The market dates from 1862, when flower growers loaded up their wares on barges and sailed into the city center on the Amstel River. The modern-day market is composed of fixed barges and stalls. From tulips and daffodils to violets, peonies, and orchids, you’re sure to find your favorite seeds and bulbs at the flower market, no matter the time of year.

A 15-minute stroll along the canals will bring you to the Amsterdam Tulip Museum. Although small, the museum packs in plenty of interesting history. You'll learn about the 17th-century "Tulip Mania," when tulip bulbs became a currency worth more than gold, and more recent history, including how bulbs were eaten for survival during times of war.

After your museum visit, consider visiting the Anne Frank House, which is right across the canal from the Tulip Museum. This museum is built around the actual secret annex where Anne Frank and her family hid for over two years during WWII. 

In the evening, dine at a good restaurant in the city center. We recommend the neighborhoods of De Pijp and the Jordaan.

Day 2: Explore the Netherlands' "Flower Bulb Region"

Vibrant fields of flowers in the Dutch countryside

After a relaxed breakfast, a private taxi will pick you up for the short trip to Uithoorn/Aalsmeer, the beating heart of the flower bulb industry. The area is called de Bollenstreek by the Dutch, meaning "Flower Bulb Region." Wedged between the bustling cities of the west, this unique landscape features seemingly endless fields of colorful flowers that burst to life in spring.

At your hotel in Uithoorn, e-bikes will be ready so you can explore the region in true Dutch fashion. In the afternoon, try the bikes out with a short ride to nearby Aalsmeer, about 4 miles (6 km) from your hotel. Visit the Flower Art Museum, an art museum that focuses solely on flowers and plants. It's located on the edge of the Westeinderplassen lakes. When leaving the museum, have a peek at the impressive water tower. Have lunch at a waterfront restaurant along the lake, or take a boat tour on the Westeinderplassen. 

From April onwards, you can opt to include an additional stop at the Historische Tuin Aalsmeer, a historic garden and living museum. While listening to the audio tour and walking around the flower beds and vegetable gardens, you will learn about ancient greenhouses and old cultivation methods. The waterfront café here is a lovely spot for a cup of tea or a relaxing lunch.

In the evening, dine at a restaurant on the shore of the Amstel River.

Day 3: See a Live Flower Auction and Cycle Through Flower Fields

Flowers prepared for sale at auction

Rise and shine! Wake up bright and early, have breakfast, and cycle about 4 miles (6 km) down to the flower auction, which is at its liveliest in the early morning. Inside the actual auction building, you'll see small trains packed with fresh flowers that are ready to be shipped all over the world. Bidding happens in the center of the space, and you can really feel the tension as the clock ticks. Incredible amounts of flowers and other plants go on sale. Stop into the visitors’ center to learn more about the auction.

Continue by bicycle from the auction building towards your destination, Noordwijk. After more than an hour of easy cycling from Uithoorn/Aalsmeer, you'll encounter your next experience: the surreal flower gardens of Keukenhof. Every spring, the park opens to display a glorious seven million flowers. The flower beds are truly a stunning sight.

After your visit, have lunch and get ready for the last stretch of cycling. Bike through the agricultural landscape, stopping along the way to take in the sights and snap some photos of the bright flower fields. Along the road, you might also find small stalls selling fresh flowers and bulbs straight from the fields. Come prepared: it's usually cash-only.

After about half an hour cycling from Keukenhof, the landscape changes as you reach the coast of the North Sea. Here, it's dominated by sand dunes, and you might even encounter a few deer along the way. Your hotel is located in the beachside town of Noordwijk aan Zee. The total length of the cycle trip from Uithoorn is about 26 miles (42km). Check in to your hotel. and relax. If you have some energy left, take an evening walk on the beach.

Day 4: Relax During a Beach Day in Noordwijk

A lighthouse in the windswept coastal landscape near Noordwijk

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast in your hotel and start today’s adventure whenever you feel ready. We suggest a stroll on the beach first thing. Just inland, the sand of the surrounding dunes was dug out as early as the 16th century to expand cities and build railway tracks. The geestgronden, or remaining soil along the coast, proved suitable for cultivating tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. The gentle maritime climate also favored flower-growing, making this area a flower bulb hotspot. 

The wind can be strong here in the spring months: be sure to bring a warm jacket. By the end of April, Holland already starts enjoying some summery weather, so it's also smart to pack sunscreen and sunglasses. 

After a refreshing walk through this unique scenery, enjoy a drink or a leisurely meal in one of many beachfront cafés and restaurants.

Day 5: Finish the Trip in Amsterdam

A map of the Netherlands

Your short but sweet flower tour has come to an end. A private taxi will pick you up to take you back to Amsterdam, or to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels!

More Great Netherlands Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Netherlands? Check out these other Netherlands itineraries, including a 7-day Best of Holland & Flanders trip, a 5-day Highlights of Holland tour, and a longer 10-day Highlights of Holland adventure.

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.

Map

Map of Flower Tour of Holland - 5 Days
Map of Flower Tour of Holland - 5 Days